After the aforementioned R&P of Memphis, Tiger fans everywhere have been scrounging around to find the next layer of uncommitted players. With the departure of the Henrys, Dodson, Cousins and Dennis, the Tigers appear decimated. So, what's left?
Most rumors have Taggart returning to the Tigers for another year of low-post coaching, weight training and stanky leg development. Evans is in the process of hiring an agent, so he is gone.
Assuming Tags is back, our front line of attack will be Tag, Andre the Garcia and Coleman splitting time in the frontcourt, with Henderson-Niles chewing on a few back-up minutes. Our wingmen are a formidable group consisting of The Warhammer Wesley Witherspoon, DMack and Roburt "Wait-til-March" Sallie. A Top 25 squad? Not initially. A C-USA contender? Most definitely.
Where does that leave the Tigers? As is the case with the style of offense that the Tigers employ (and which has been promised to be faster and more up-tempo with Pastner; we'll see how that goes), we are in dire need of a floor manager.
Every Tiger fan loves Willie Kemp. Every Tiger fan wants Kemp to excel. He's so athletically skilled, but he's played more games in his head than on the floor. Kemp's history leaves the Tigers with two alternatives: (1) Pastner's positive voodoo will resurrect Kemp's ability and he'll lead the team like he should have for several years; (2) the Tigers secure a PG in the upcoming class.
Unfortunately, the pickens are slim at this point. There are only two PG prospects still available who can step in and play big minutes in their first season. One point guard who is still available is John Wall. He's also open to those looking for a cohort to mess with the 5-O or even to those lucky ladies who may be inquiring as to the availability of an NBA-bound baby daddy.
The other ready-made PG prospect is Eric Bledsoe. Bledsoe will announce Wednesday whether he'll join the Tigers or the Wildcats. Stop whatever you are doing right this minute and pray to God that Bledsoe chooses Memphis on Wednesday. Build a voodoo Rupp Arena and run it over with your car. Anoint your head with oil and chant "Let's Go Tigers!" Bledsoe is a cutter and scores well in the lane, which is essential for the Tiger offense. Bledsoe still has room to mature, but he's been making strides as of late and would benefit by early playing time at Memphis.
Meanwhile, in other recruiting, Pastner is pushing hard for 6-7, 200lb power forward Latavious Williams, who recently emerged from retaking the ACT exam, confident that he'll be good to go this fall. However, immediately after his ACT, he opened his list of schools and made a trip to Florida International. LW gave new coach Isaiah Thomas positive reviews. These comments helped me understand why he's had to take the ACT several times just to qualify for NCAA ball.
Recent news at Foxsports gives Tiger fans some hope for securing the last Top 10 recruit that is still available, Lance Stephenson. Lance, a 6-6, 200lb shooting guard, has bounced between several programs, namely Maryland, St. Johns, Kansas and Memphis, and by process of elimination, is leaning toward Memphis. Stephenson is a strong, aggressive player who likes to cut to the hoop. He reminds me a little bit of Tyreke, but with a better vertical. I'm a little skeptical of a player who lets another prospect (Xavier Henry) deter him from choosing the same school, but all the freshmen want minutes and facetime. Kids these days. Arizona reportedly pulled their interest in Stephenson because of some off-court issues. Welcome to Memphis, Lance, Home of the Offcourt Issue.
UPDATE: I'd like to send a shout out to Spam's Wildcat page. Spam loves our idea about a VooDoo Rupp Arena and has challenged us to an NCAA witch doctor deathmatch. I checked into it, but UK stole our witch doctor, too. Sad day.